A MEASLES alert has been issued for the Gold Coast after a person from Victoria visited the city while infectious.
Queensland Health says the person flew from Melbourne to Brisbane on Jetstar flight JQ57 on Friday September 22. The patient departed from Tullamarine Airport at 1:45pm.
The infected person then spent two days visiting the South Brisbane suburb of Kangaroo Point before making their way to the Gold Coast on Sunday, September 24.
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During their time on the Gold Coast, Queensland Health says the patient visited a medical centre in Broadbeach on September 26 and the Robina Hospital on September 28.
The patient also visited various shops and cafes in Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, and Burleigh Heads while they were infectious up to last Saturday, September 30.
Health officials are warning travellers and members of the public who may have been in the above areas at the same time as the patient to watch out for measles symptoms.
“Measles can be a serious illness with complications including pneumonia and encephalitis which can be fatal,” Executive Director, Communicable Diseases Branch Dr Sonya Bennett said.
“The initial symptoms of measles include fever, lethargy, runny nose, moist cough and sore and red eyes.
“This is followed a few days later by a blotchy, red rash which often starts on the face and then becomes widespread over the body.”
Dr Bennett said symptoms usually started to show around 10 days after initial contact with the infectious person but was known to occur between seven and 18 days after contact.
“Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases and is spread by tiny droplets formed through coughing and sneezing whilst unwell and infectious,” she said.
“Please see your doctor if you have been in these areas and have any of these symptoms.”
“It is very important to call the medical practice first if you think you might have measles so that staff can take precautions to avoid you spreading it to others.”
Gold Coast Public Health Specialist Dr Paul Van Bynder told myGC around 1-in-4 people who contract the measles will be hospitalised.
“About 1-in-1000 will actually develop a brain encephalitis that has severe consequences with ongoing brain damage,” Dr Van Bynder said.
“There is also a mortality rate of about half that as well, so people die from measles.”
For more information on the measles virus visit the Queensland Health website or speak to a registered nurse at 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) any time, any day.